How To Crate Train Your Dog
Whether adult or puppy, one of the most useful lessons for a dog in new home is crate training. Attending a dog training class guided by experts is considered the best method but not everyone can afford one. The following tips are some suggested steps to show you how to crate train your dog.
What Is Crate Training?
Many dog parents are looking for the best way to keep their new dog happy and safe when they’re not at home. The best way to do is to crate train your dog. Crate training is the process of teaching a dog to become willing as well as expect to spend their time relaxed and calm in a crate. Dogs are naturally den animals so crate training is instinctual. Their crate is a safe haven that they will want to keep clean and retreat to for comfort. As a matter of fact, they will feel secure, comfortable, and safe while staying in their own crate without any fuss or stress.
What are the Benefits Of Crate Training?
These are some benefits every dog parent will experience after crate training:
- Security. A dog can learn to realize that its crate is their own special place. If they want to be in peace, their crate can provide alone time without any human interference.
- Safety. A crate is considered the best place to keep your dog from any outside harm, especially when you cannot supervise them all the time.
- House-training. Crate training is a valuable lesson when teaching your dog to alleviate outside or in a specific area. This means less accidents around your house and a potty trained pup.
- Prevent anxiety. Crate trained pets have a smaller space they feel they need to protect. Thus, they feel more calm and quite when you’re not at home.
- Kennels and boarding. If your pet is accustomed to a crate, it is much more convenient for you to bring them when traveling. It reduces stressful visits at the veterinarian and keeps them calm when they are boarding.
When Should I Start Crate Training A Puppy?
It is recommended that 8 weeks is the best age for a puppy to start the crate training. However, a puppy should not be confined overnight, until they get at least the 12-week age.
How Long Does Crate Training Take?
The length of the crate training depends on the age, the past experience and the temperament of your dog. It may take several weeks or just some days or weeks. Below we suggest the maximum time of being in a crate based on the age of your dog or puppy.
- A puppy from 8 to 10 weeks should only be kept in a crate for 30 to 60 minutes
- An 11 to 14-week puppy usually stay from 1 to 3 hours
- With the age from 15 to 16 weeks, you can let them in a crate for 3 to 4 hours
- If your puppy is more than 17 weeks, they can be left for 4 to 5 hours
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The Crate Training Process
By following some simple steps, you will grasp how to crate train your new dog quickly.
- Step 1: Introducing your dog to the crate
At first, you should prepare a nice crate for your dog with a soft towel or blanket. Let them explore the crate on their own. If your dog is curious and able to sleep there, you are lucky. Otherwise, you can convince them with some encouragement and a few of their favorite toys. Remember, the crate may be foreign to your dog so be patient with the process.
- Step 2: Feeding the your pup’s meal in the crate
The next thing you should consider is feeding your dogs’s meal near that crate. Using food, you want to create a positive association with the crate. Place their bowl in the back of the crate to entice them to walk in. If your dog is still reluctant to come in the crate, you can move the dish closer to the entrance and gradually move the dish further back after each successful meal. After your dog is comfortable eating their meals inside the crate, try closing the door while they’re eating and open it once they finish. Repeat this every feeding, leaving the door closed a few minutes longer each time. This process should be done slowly to make sure your dog feels comfortable enough to eat inside the crate.
- Step 3: Lengthening the period of being in a crate
When your dog can hangout in the closed crate without signs of anxiety or stress, you can move onto lengthening their stay. Give a command such as “kennel” to enter. You can point to the crate with a treat in hand to encourage your pup to follow your order. Be sure to follow up with lots of praise if they do.
Then, you should sit quietly nearby the crate in about ten minutes to console your dog. Try leaving the room for a couple minutes. You can return and sit quietly next to the crate with the door still closed. The final thing is to let the your dog out. This process should be repeated several times by gradually increasing the time length. Once your dog can stay quietly for 30 minutes in the crate with you out of sight, you can start keeping them crated while you’re gone for short periods of time.
- Step 4: Crating your dog at night
At the last step, you can put your dog in their crate using the regular command along with a treat. The most suitable place to start crating your dog at night is some place nearby your bedroom so you can hear their voice if anything happens. Remember, puppies may still need to alleviate themselves at night. After that, you can gradually move the crate to another preferred location.
Pooping in the crate
What Not to do when Crate Training
There are many theories and approaches in crate training for your dog. Therefore, we hope you will find this article be useful when choosing the most appropriate method for you. Understanding how to crate train your dog fosters a positive relationship with your four legged friend. Please keep in mind that your dog’s crate should be associated with pleasant things and your training process should be done using several small steps. Always set your dog up for success and praise them when they do. Be patient with your dog as they learn new lessons. Share your crate training experience with us below!